New Delhi, (IANS) India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) developed indigenously, made their maiden appearance at the Republic Day parade here on Thursday.
The flypast at the parade that left the spectators enthralled despite an overcast sky and light drizzle, included Mi-17 V5 helicopters that flew with the Indian flag and showered flower petals on the dignitaries and spectators along Rajpath, Advanced Light Helicopters Rudra and Dhruv, Mi-35 attack helicopters, C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft and fighter jets Sukhoi, Jaguars and Mig 29s.
Despite overcast conditions, three fighter jets flew at a height of 300 metres from the ground at a speed of 780 km per hour in ‘VIC’ formation, leaving the spectators at Rajpath boulevard in awe.
The LCA was earlier flown at the Indian Air Force Day last year. It was also flown at the IAF’s fire power demonstration Iron Fist, Aero India and the Bahrain International Airshow.
Indigenously developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas, as a fourth generation aircraft, can fly at 1,350 km per hour and is comparable to the world’s best fighters, including French Mirage 2000, American F-16 and Swedish Gripen.
The fighter jet was inducted into 45th Squadron of the Indian Air Force in July 2016 with two aircraft. The plan is to increase the production of aircraft from the present eight to 16 aircraft each year.
The AEW&C is an ‘Eye in the Sky’ and a force multiplier. The system consists of multiple sensors for surveillance and signal intelligence. It helps in air defence operations.
The Su-30, meanwhile, left the spectators spellbound with a thrilling vertical climb.